T’was the night before Christmas and all through the room “the scent of tarts baking, cranberries go swoon” HaHaHa!

Cranberries are in abundance during the winter months making them the perfect little treat for the holidays, and an unexpected surprise for guests. I love a fruit tart – always have, always will. This particular tart has a swoon-worthy snappy tart shell that’s filled with a sweet yet tart cranberry topping that sings Christmas.
I first devoured this tart at L’Artusi in New York City’s West Village. A sweet concoction created by pastry chef and owner Katherine Thompson, surely one of my favorite dessert masters. After researching a holiday dessert to swoon my guests, I happened to stumble upon Katherine’s very recipe in Food & Wine. Swoon and Swoon – beautiful & delicious! The brown butter custard filling acts as the perfect counterpart to the tart zing of the berries! Not too sweet and accompanied by a crisp shell that works for a variety of tarts!

Photography by Chloe Crespi ~ Shared story featured on Harpers Bazaar.com

Brown Butter-Cranberry Tart



    • PASTRY
      1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

      2 tablespoons sugar

      1/2 teaspoon salt

      1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

      1/4 cup heavy cream

      1 large egg yolk


      1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

      1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

      3 large eggs

      2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

      1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

      1/4 cup all-purpose flour

      1/4 teaspoon salt

      3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

      1/4 cup water


    • In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolk. Pour the cream mixture into the food processor and pulse until moist crumbs form. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until chilled.

      Preheat the oven to 375°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry 1/8 inch thick. Fit the pastry into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; trim the overhanging pastry. Patch any cracks with the pastry trimmings. Refrigerate the tart shell for about 30 minutes, or until it is chilled.

      Line the tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the rim is lightly golden. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until lightly golden all over. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet.

      In a small skillet, melt the butter with the vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over moderately high heat until the butter starts to turn golden and smells nutty, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

      In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the lemon zest. Strain the brown butter into the egg mixture and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the flour and salt. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and set. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 2 hours.

      In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup of sugar with the cranberries and water. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and cook until the cranberries have just split and the sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Scrape the cranberries into a bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.

      Using a slotted spoon, arrange the cranberries on the tart and discard the liquid. Cut the tart into wedges and serve.

      MAKE AHEAD: The baked tart can be kept at room temperature overnight. The cranberries can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using.


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